Sitting Purdey Pretty

vint_english-style

“Where Downton Abbey meets Wind In The Willows…”

Confess now, you’re a Downton Abbey junkie, and you crave that irresistible English style but don’t want bog standard. Chances are you are also a fan of Wind In The Willows, and would love nothing better than to get in touch with your inner Toad. Considering the rakishness of the Edwardians, today’s dandies don’t hold a candle to these style enthusiasts for pure swagger.

Well relax, I know just the places where you can find the ideal kit and accessories on South Audley Street in London. Purdey reeks of vintage mahogany, drinking flasks, cashmere the color of moss and briar. The premises tell a story of sobriety and old world charm. To top it off, they have been dressing the Toads of the country style set for years. I find their clothes are synonymous with good taste and discretion. No need to worry about making any sartorial faux pas here. If you have a weakness for Scottish shooting estates, and who doesn’t, Purdey is first cabin.

Just last week I was back in the old Metrop with a modern day Toad, and together we sauntered over the threshold of Purdey after sharing a proper lunch at a nearby pub owned by Guy Ritchie. Well braced with a few real ales properly pulled we were ready for some serious shopping action.

As we entered Audley House through the front doors, I noticed the Royal Warrant of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II proudly displayed, and I knew in a thrice we were in good company. We gazed on this season’s collection and the accessories. There were hi-tech jumpers, which repel water, cashmere soft as a robin’s breast, stout walking shoes, and an assortment of scarves, hip flasks, cuff links to make the Duchess of Devonshire blush.

Toad being Toad, bolted straight to the room where they sell suitable hunting jackets with an action back and shooting suits. I should also mention that he is also a grand admirer of heavyweight cords and moleskins in assorted shades to pair with his tweed jackets. We had just come from Cordings in Piccadilly where he snatched a bakers dozen. Fortunately for Toad, Purdey was stocked to rafters with exquisite requisites for gentlemen.

As Toad stated, “You needn’t look like a tramp when traipsing about the moors in these bits”.

Toad it seemed was an expert on this subject. I guess that comes with living on a country estate. For the rest of us, he also implied that weekend gear should be smart as well as reliable. Solid clothes, which stand the test of time are an English speciality. They embody grace and style. You don’t need to live in England to enjoy these clothes either. I know another chap who swears by them and lives in Piedmont. He claims they are perfect attire when collecting porcini mushrooms in the mountains.

So, I was pleased to see a russet tweed shooting suit, which I couldn’t resist. Perfect for my next grouse shoot. I caution you should you indulge, don’t make the mistake I did. Don’t wear it to Rules in Covent Garden. If you do you will roast. I almost cooked myself alive. The next thing I discovered was a Lovat jacket perfect for my upcoming R&R next to a salmon beat. For lovers of English style, you will find this bastion a treasure trove.

modern_toad_purdey

“When you’re taking tea at Purdey…”

After nabbing a few pieces and a new hip flask for my outdoor winter hikes I thought that I was stepped into a time warp, and yet I found the ambiance reassuring. The MD, Emmanuel, who is an expert on hunting and luxury shot guns, will advise you on your every need. Gentleman such as Emanuel are a rare breed. He is friendly, knowledgeable, and can entertain you with fabulous stories if you give him a chance. He personifies the Purdey spirit and is a tribute to this noble house.

You see, Purdey is more than a typical outdoor clothing store. It is one of the world’s most premier handmade centers of shot guns on which the firm built its enviable reputation.

Just think, Purdey was established in London in 1814, the year before the battle of Waterloo. The founder, James Purdey, had previously worked as head stocker for Joseph Manton, the foremost gunmaker of his time. Learning his lessons like Stradivarius once learned to make violins, he proceeded to set up on his own as any entrepreneurial soul will. His renown spread quickly and by 1838, Queen Victoria bought a pair of Purdey pistols. Now how is that for pedigree?

By the 1880s, his son understood that innovation in design and technology was key. James the Younger, as he was called, stood at the forefront of bespoke gun and rifle manufacture. History buffs know that the company was granted its first Royal Warrant in 1868 by The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. This honor has been bestowed by the crown on every managing director of James Purdey & Sons Ltd ever since. The only major change to this very English institution took place in 1994, when the last of the family retired. The firm was sold to the Richemont Group.

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History aside, the store is full of hunting lore galore. In a special room, James Purdey conceived a banquet hall, which is still used for special occasions and guests. It resembles a shooting lodge in Scotland with a glass roof, which is architecturally unique. The walls are lined with artifacts, guns, and even photographs of the British in India and Maharajahs. It is quite impressive and great place to party, should you decide to book the premises. Personally, in my humble view, it is really fab. Book now and you will have no regrets.

The best counsel I can offer is that when you discover this shop, buy a brace of great suits, draw up a map of your Wild Wood, fill your hip flask to the brim and then post haste, set off to discover the beauty of your country. You never know what the weather will conjure up. TTFN.

Article Title: Sitting Pretty Purdey
Photographs curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on art | food | fashion | music | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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Discovering The Cool Of Branché Paname

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“Because everyone want s to be a Buffalo Soldier…”

Welcome to the City of Light, which has become the bouillabaisse of France with its ideas and cravings for the latest trends in art, food, fashion, music, and travel. Local hipsters refer to this town as Paname. Want to get around? Forget the metro. Rent or buy a vintage bicycle. Watch the world go by as slowly as you can.

Branché Paname is more than an attitude. It constitutes a generational shift in style and behavior. We are in a state of complete reboot. It’s cosmopolitan, open and inclusive to other cultures, and forges a dynamic link to the traditions while remaining true to its roots. Forget the Eiffel Tower. Go to Sentier or the Faubourg Saint Denis. It is a way of life in a town often misunderstood by inhabitants as well as tourists.

Although the Grands Boulevards, the famous cafes, winding streets and the quays of the Seine are glorious, they rest clichés.

Today’s Paname has a beguiling street style, its tribes, and petits oignons. You can drink yourself blind on great wine, cultivate yourself with contemporary art, tan on a garden lawn, hang five on the Canal Saint Martin, laugh, fall in love, and even get a tattoo to die for. Remember, each establishment has its own dress codes and as in all things French, the locals dress the part with panache. You should too if you want to blend in, make new friends, and have the time of your life.

john_Branché-Paname

“Because you’re looking for Strawberry Fields…”

To honor our glorious town, RedHerring is running series of lifestyle articles featuring lascar cool and fly girls out for a bit of fun. The ground to stalk in search of cool? Everywhere from the Marais to the Canal Saint Martin. Download Al Green for that perfect soul music. Don’t forget your sunglasses.

Alex Haircuts
21 rue Rodier 75009 Paris
Alex and his brother cut the meanest haircuts in this town. Period. I haven’t seen barbers this meticulous in a donkey’s age. 45 minutes to have your haircut. They are also splendid at beards. If you’ve seen a lot of nifty cuts of late around Paris, then their locks and beards were trimmed or pruned here. This place is definitely the real deal. It is a fav with hipsters.

The place is as large as a cracker box. But the ambiance is first cabin. Old style American barber in the heart of SoPi. Music is rockabilly and blues. These guys are also connoisseurs on olive oil, bourbon, and women. Anything to due with their kind of music, don’t hesitate to ask. Take for example the name of a great club where you won’t go broke.

Today’s discussion was on the Gibus Cafe at 127, rue Saint Maur 75011. If you want good ole Southern blues with balls, coming soon are the Delta Bombers. These guys will shake the house down.

Returning to Alex Haircuts, make a note that there are no reservations for ordinary people. Come Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday and you’ll stand a chance of seeing their mastery on your own head. They open at nine but I’d get here at 8. Don’t be shocked if you see a cue when you arrive.

Grillé
15 rue Saint Antoine 75002 Paris
Marie Carcassonne and Frederic Peneau have set up the hottest kebab stand this side of the Bosphorus. Everything is organic and top notch. The meat is provided by Hugo Desnoyer. The mixes and toppings include fresh mint, parsley and coriander. French Fries do not come from Picard. They are homemade and crunch between your teeth. The pita is reminiscent of Indian bread from Delhi hot and home baked on the premises.

The place is packed out at lunchtime. There are some places to sit, but most clients take their lunches back to the office or sit in the garden at Palais Royal. Some might quibble over the price and the portions. However, not only is this kebab delicious, it is actually good for you. Trying telling that to your local kebab dealer back in the eighteenth.

Royal Cheese
22 rue Tiquetonne 75002 Paris
Hipsters love this boutique and rightly so. They specialize in preppy and workwear classics. Each season has a capsule collection and features Red Wing boots, Sebago boatshoes, Lacoste Live, and the best denim in town. The new flagship is on the rue Veille du Temple in the Haut Marais. Dungaree specialties include Levis, Lees, Nudie, and Edwin. Want to join the crowd off the wall? Their Vans will provide you with the perfect footwear.

Article Title: Discovering The Cool Of Branché Paname
Photograph: (1)thesharpgentleman (2)urbanite

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on art | food | fashion | music | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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How To Play Holiday Party Questions

jolly_holiday-style

“Whilst you’re looking for the mistletoe…”

With the holiday season upon us, we find ourselves invited to countless parties. Whilst searching for the mistletoe and getting in the holiday spirit inevitably guests will want to play the game I refer to as Holiday Party Questions.

I don’t know about you, but somehow too many questions make me feel like I’m standing up to a police grilling. Makes me reach for my next G&T. Now I love a Christmas party as much as the next fellow not to mention a good old fashioned Down East clam bake, but questions?

fair_christmas-party

“Because you are the fairest in the land…”

Now, I know what you may be thinking. This guy’s totally unsociable. Au contraire. It’s just that I appreciate a natural and organic flow of things. To give all our holiday party goers a heads up, we curated a list below so that you are prep’d and ready the next time you go out. Training is essential so you don’t slip on the proverbial social soap. A few cocktails can loosen your tongue.

However, discretion is usually the best policy to avoid unnecessary embarrassment.

1. What is you middle name?
2. How old are you?
3. What is your birthday?
4. What is your zodiac sign?
5. What is your favorite color?
6. What’s your lucky number?
7. Do you have any pets?
8. Where are you from?
9. How tall are you?
10. What shoe size are you?
11. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
12. What was your last dream about?
13. What talents do you have?
14. Are you psychic in any way?
15. Favorite song?
16. Favorite movie?
17. Who would be your ideal partner?
18. Do you want children?
19. Do you want a church wedding?
20. Are you religious?
21. Have you ever been to the hospital?
22. Have you ever got in trouble with the law?
23. Have you ever met any celebrities?
24. Baths or showers?
25. What color socks are you wearing?
26. Have you ever been famous?
27. Would you like to be a big celebrity?
28. What type of music do you like?
29. Have you ever been skinny dipping?
30. How many pillows do you sleep with?
31. What position do you usually sleep in?
32. How big is your house?
33. What do you typically have for breakfast?
34. Have you ever fired a gun?
35. Have you ever tried archery?
36. Favorite clean word?
37. Favorite swear word?
38. What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without sleep?
39. Do you have any scars?
40. Have you ever had a secret admirer?
41. Are you a good liar?
42. Are you a good judge of character?
43. Can you do any other accents other than your own?
44. Do you have a strong accent?
45. What is your favorite accent?
46. What is your personality type?
47. What is your most expensive piece of clothing?
48. Can you curl your tongue?
49. Are you an innie or an outie?
50. Left or right handed?
51. Are you scared of spiders?
52. Favorite food?
53. Favorite foreign food?
54. Are you a clean or messy person?
55. Most used phrased?
56. Most used word?
57. How long does it take for you to get ready?
58. Do you have much of an ego?
59. Do you suck or bite lollipops?
60. Do you talk to yourself?
61. Do you sing to yourself?
62. Are you a good singer?
63. Biggest Fear?
64. Are you a gossip?
65. Best dramatic movie you’ve seen?
66. Do you like long or short hair?
67. Can you name all 50 states of America?
68. Favorite school subject?
69. Extrovert or Introvert?
70. Have you ever been scuba diving?
71. What makes you nervous?
72. Are you scared of the dark?
73. Do you correct people when they make mistakes?
74. Are you ticklish?
75. Have you ever started a rumor?
76. Have you ever been in a position of authority?
77. Have you ever drank underage?
78. Have you ever done drugs?
79. Who was your first real crush?
80. How many piercings do you have?
81. Can you roll your Rs?”
82. How fast can you type?
83. How fast can you run?
84. What color is your hair?
85. What color is your eyes?
86. What are you allergic to?
87. Do you keep a journal?
88. What do your parents do?
89. Do you like your age?
90. What makes you angry?
91. Do you like your own name?
92. Have you already thought of baby names, and if so what are they?
93. Do you want a boy a girl for a child?
94. What are you strengths?
95. What are your weaknesses?
96. How did you get your name?
97. Were your ancestors royalty?
98. Do you have any scars?
99. Color of your bedspread?
100. Color of your room?

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Article Title: How To Play Holiday Party Questions
Photographs: (1) myinnerlandscape (2) curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on culture | food | fashion | music | travel | art |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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Why Dungarees Are The Real Deal

have_dungarees

“Who doesn’t love vintage jeans…”

We are witnessing the greatest denim revival of our times. Workwear and vintage fans are leading the way. They want the original heavy weights, detailing, and selvage. Connoisseurs treasure their jeans raw. Perhaps, this coincides with a corollary fetish for sashimi.

Great denim is dyed with real indigo. The color is unmistakable. The more it is worn the more nuances appear in the fabric. One pundit declares that real denim appreciation is like drinking the finest single malt whisky. We would probably say, a single batch single barrel Bourbon, but why quibble over trifles.

We’ve been doing a bit of research on the nature of denim and dungarees. Amongst real work wear fans there is quite a debate about when dungarees became jeans. The original fabric for dungarees was thick and robust, which is why big fans like their denim raw as sushi. The fabrics either woven in Japan on the original machines once used by Levi’s or at Cone Denim in North Carolina still produce some lovely material.

Crafted denim fabrics really do make a difference. If you own real vintage denim and not some of the reproduced copies you know the difference. Sugarcane is one of the brands whispered in small circles as the crème de la crème denim available on the market. They are manufactured from double ring-spun Zimbabwe cotton. The result is a heavy cloth, not the thin facsimiles bandied about as fashion jeans.

vintage_dungarees

“Faded indigo glory…”

In the first half of the twentieth century, America wove the best. Brands such as Levi’s, Lees, Wranglers and a clutch of smaller manufacturers provided the market with some excellent styles and weights to choose from. Remember, these were work clothes and they needed to be robust and last. A Wall Mart throw away culture does not understand nor appreciate this.

By the late 1960s the will to manufacture honest solid denim disappeared in the States. Levi’s iconic 501 XX and Lee’s 101B became the dungarees of folklore. Everyone wore these trousers from John Wayne, Gary Cooper to Marlon Brando and James Dean. Even Marilyn Monroe was captured wearing a pair.

Fashion is almost as fickle as the changing tastes of people. The 1970s gave birth to fashion jeans with perhaps Calvin Klein leading the pack. Brooke Shields was used as the model with the jeans literally painted on her body oozing the slogan, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvin’s.” For lovers of real work wear the rest was downhill. Ironically, the Japanese saved these iconic American styles and their manufacturer in a similar way that they saved the Ivy League style of preppy dressing from disappearing. Sticklers for details and high quality, they trolled the States for every real vintage piece they could find. Others began to reproduce the originals according to the original specs and designs.

The good news is that vintage styles are big today. There is a hunger for authenticity and the selvage-denim dungarees, which featured a higher waist, loose seat, and had a stovepipe or straight-leg design. The term skinny whether for jeans or latte would have been an anathema to our forbearers who had common sense when it came to clothes and strong coffee with real milk.

A couple of weeks back when I was last in London, I stumbled into the Double RL store on Mount Street and had some rather interesting talks with the work wear fanatics at Ralph’s shop. It was quite a treat to discuss denim with others who are passionate. The Double RL brand has painstakingly recaptured the authenticity and quality of the original workwear.

crabs_dungarees-denim

“Perfect for crabbing…”

Double RL is absolutely obsessive when it comes to details. I should also add for purists that the dungarees are made in either Japan or the USA. Of the pairs I examined, I loved a circa 1920s pair used for hauling stones and the other model perhaps the most loved, the Levis 1955 501s with the zipper fly and slimmer tapered leg. The color and the nubs of the cloth made my heart palpitate. The style was relaxed and comfortable. Do not confuse the term slim with today’s term.

Another brand of which I am much enamored is Sugar Cane, which has masterfully recaptured the true color, look, fit, feel, quality and durability of the famous 1955 design. While the1950-pattern Levi dungarees are known for being the first new design introduced after World War II, they still retained a fit, cut and detailing similar to the earlier dungarees with button closures and stovepipe non-tapered legs. Sugar Cane and a few other, niche brands although hard to find will give real lovers of dungarees all that they are seeking. Sugar Cane comes in raw and once-washed denim. They represent the best of two worlds: Solid American construction and Japanese denim. Self Edge on Orchard Street in New York should be your next port of call if you are interested. They can also be ordered online. They ship worldwide.

Article Title: True Religion Of Dungarees
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results.

If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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Fashion Under The Volcano

sica_menswear-naples

“This is fashion scene is getting ready to blow…”

Because of its sulfurous reputation not many people come to Naples. I can rattle off a whole list of reasons why this fashion and style capital should draw your immediate attention. Starting with Marinella, the sunshine, and outstanding home cooking and you’ll find yourself on the next plane to the city under the volcano.

You may claim that you have better things to do than to fly down to Naples in order to buy ties. All the more reason to discuss gents neckwear with Maurizio Marinella. He is affable and his store is charming. If you need further incentive, there are the beautiful women. Think Sophia Loren. Every beautiful woman loves a well-dressed gent who recognizes that fashion means the right tie. It certainly adds panache to any suit. Call it the perfect choreography to good taste.

Marinella ties have become such a phenomenon, that more than one luxury group has proposed to buy this establishment. Fortunately, he has not succumbed. Berlutti and Moyat might be new editions to the “brand is mightier than the sword” way of branding, but Maurizio Marinella doesn’t believe this is the way forward.

He is a gentleman who knows that quality cannot be mass produced and prefers to maintain the highest standards. His shop sits in the Chaia district, which is the chicest neighborhood in the city. His grandfather opened this boutique in 1914. Now, you can’t beat that for genuine heritage.

“We grow up with the fear that we will be considered people who only have mandolins, make pizza and mozzarella”, states Maurizio. “But actually I, and many others like me, show that there is also a Naples that produces, that works, that gets up at six in the morning, and still manages to be successful on an international level.”

nap2_italian-menswear

“Where shopping is always paradise…”

Unlike other manufacturers of ties, his are clearly in another league. The rich and the famous have all paid house calls: Bill Clinton, Luchino Visconti, Aristotle Onassis, Gabriele D’Annunzio, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Giovanni Agnelli.

His business is a lesson in sustainability. Call it “Small is Beautiful”. Why tamper with excellence? Many pundits have asked him why he doesn’t open a chain of boutiques to satisfy global demand.

“Because I am a craftsman and I wish to remain a craftsman”, replies Maurizio Marinella. “I am not interested in large numbers and I would rather keep the tradition alive and fruitful, together with the magic that accompanies it.”

square_italian-menswear

“Because panache is Neapolitan style…”

Considering the price of a tie from Hermes, I wondered how much does a Marinella cost? The answer is surprising: “Between 80 and 90 euros”, he said. “Less than many ties produced industrially by some of the great names of Italian and French fashion.”

I wondered, is it possible to survive on just selling ties? The answer is a demonstrative “yes”. There’s an attitude you can count on. I won’t suggest that you throw out your current tie collection, but I would give serious consideration to giving them to charity and heading off to Naples. The firm also does some rather nice cuff links. Still need another reason to fly down to Naples? Capri is just a stone’s throw across the bay and is picture perfect.

(If you enjoyed this post, please click the thumbs up icon and let us know!)

Article Title: Fashion Under The Volcano
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results.

If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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How To Craft The French Touch

aud_french-touch

“Don’t you just love mess in’ about in boats…”

Recently, I was invited to the Regalade, a charming restaurant in a discreet Paris location to discuss The French Touch. At the table were a distinguished cast of cognoscente, whose names I am not at liberty to divulge.

Table talk centered on the essence of style over fashion, craftsmanship over mass production, i.e. made in ailleurs. There was the occasional chest beating and lament. Hey, Paris has a latin soul, but it was nothing a few cocktails couldn’t cure. The general consensus is that identifying The French Touch is similar to a sea dragon riding the wind.

These people I might add were not hide bound bores, but designers and players in the luxury sector. Off the record, one comment was: “Luxury brands like any other retailer deal in bottom lines. Fashion is a world driven by constant and persistent change.”

It is sometimes true that creatives try to cajole, persuade, and market their wares non-stop to an ever-fickle public looking for the next big thing. Where the concept of timelessness was once a by-word for quality, today luxury is the effervescence of shooting stars. Take a journey over to Louis Vuitton on the Champs-Elysees showcase, and engage with the current zeitgeist.

pivoine_french-touch

“It’s hard to beat the French Touch when it comes to style…”

Although I have nothing against profitability, we must not confuse sales figures with taste or style. Real style is intangible and is intrinsic to a person’s persona. The concept of The French Touch is not any different. It is easy to identify, but quite difficult to replicate. It is as one lovely figure among us noted, “a state of mind”. The French actress, Marion Cotillard encapsulates the French touch to perfection in Woody Allen’s film, “Midnight In Paris”.

Lea Seydoux is another beauty who radiates the French Touch. Just imagine you are dining with her. She is sheepishly looking at you with those hypnotic eyes, and then says in that most Parisienne of voices: “Mon chou would you care to share a bottle of Foufoune. If this happens to you, you are done for. Cuite.

For those who aspire to capture this look, study Audrey Hepburn for guidelines. Although she was not French, she was not born in the States either. There was something quite mystical about her persona, which still captivates audiences. The term I would use to describe her is elegance. In her film with Fred Astaire, she causally remarks, “I am not beautiful; I have a funny face.” Ever the gentleman, Fred Astaire responded, “What you call funny, I call interesting.”

Audrey knew she had allure. Her clothes personified her character not the other way around. She was an ambassador for Hubert de Givenchy, and wore his clothes with panache. However, because her beauty was so natural, she was just as much at home in a pair of Levis. This is not just style but real class.

Three years ago, Ines de la Fressange published La Parisienne, and the book was an instant best seller in France. The book oozes with the style voice of one of Chanel’s former key models and taste trendsetters. Today, Ines is 50-something, and just as captivating as she was in her 20s. The book stands as a style guide to good taste for any contemporary woman, who wants to let loose her own version of The French Touch.

Visitors and designers alike claim that in this city men and women dress better than many other urban environments, and embody a certain je ne sais quoi. That “something” is well articulated in Ines book. It is also lovingly captured by the fashion photographer, Scott Schuman on his trend setting blog entitled, The Satorialist. Scott has the uncanny knack for capturing style across age groups. He demonstrates how personal and organic French style, really is. Every one can look great; it is a question of attitude, not money. His photographs make you drool. On his website, he features a whole ream of pictures taken in Paris, which give you a good feel for the French vibe.

I have another dear friend who claims that The French Touch is in the tap water. Drink the water at will he laughs and “voila”. Here, I am not so sure. The “Chateau Robinet 2014″ is barely drinkable. Perhaps, the water he was referring to, came from Reims in bottles, labelled, Bollinger. Baudelaire claimed that all French women had beautiful legs because they spent half their lives walking up and down countless flights of stairs.

Someone remarked to me just the other day that everyone should have an uncle called “Christian”. It is true that Dior had certainly added to the modern vocabulary of contemporary woman. His feel for shape and color were unique. He knew how to drape fabric across a woman’s body, letting the woman’s body speak with its own voice, not necessarily calling attention to the clothes. Elegance is always a point of subtlety.

A contemporary style trend gathering more steam has been the craze for French vintage military field jackets, and those sailor’s shirts manufactured by St. James. The Lycée crowd has taken it up in spades, and it has spread to other circles throughout the heart of the BoBo-land. Designers have been borrowing concepts from vintage military clothing for ages; Jean-Paul Gautier is just one of the most successful.

Another key give away that your style code needs adjusting is when your clothes are too tight. This is not style, sorry. This is bad taste. Clothes should always be adjusted and be your size. Forget what the inner label says. Use a tape measure.

Want to laugh?

One of our global readers was recently asking what is the best colour for shirts. At first glance, I thought this was a philosophical question. I was about to consult my annotated copy of the Analects by Confucius, and caught myself saying, “Wait a second. Colour is personal”. The French like the Italians are fond of blue and white stripes of assorted versions. This design has a causal preppy style and can be worn with or without a tie. Speaking of ties, the bow tie has made a smashing comeback. This would have pleased my father no end. I find that bow ties are not only great in summer, but can also pass muster all year round. In case you would like to start fostering a collection, why not head over to Charvet near Place Vendome. Talk about the French Touch!

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Article Title: How To Craft The French Touch
Photographs: (1) curated by ES (2)weheartit.com

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results.

If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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Because You’re Hell Bent On Leather

there_leather-italian-style

“I wonder if he bought that briefcase…”

Hell bent on leather for a gentlemen is not a question of S&M. It means finding the right bag or briefcase. Bridle leather is stiff, but Italian leather is soft as butter.

Enter Wanny Di Filippo, the founder of Il Bisonte. Not long ago, he was in Paris, when I came to grips with him over a Japanese bowl of lamen. To meet with Wanny in the flesh is quite a treat. Now, if you have never heard of Il Bisonte, you are in for a surprise. If you are an old Bisonte aficionado than you will rediscover why you fell in love with this brand. This firm of artisans was always hell bent on leather.

Launched 40 years ago in tiny workshop-boutique in Florence, Il Bisonte embodies La Dolce Vita Style. Walk down any street in this town and you are overwhelmed with creativity and beauty. Every church is adorned with Renaissance masterpieces. Eat at a local trattoria such as Vini, and you will never go home. No wonder Florence has such a reputation for splendor and leather craftsmanship. The setting is so inviting that Gant Rugger made Florence their narrative for their Team Americano collection.

Before I get carried away, our story begins in 1970. It is here in the heart of town on the narrow via del Parione the whole show kicks off. Before you can say Michelangelo three times backwards, Wanny is making leather handbags, travel satchels, briefcases, leather wallets, belts and accessories.

For anyone with a leather fetish, your lust will definitely be satisfied here. The leather products stand as a testimony to Wanny’s good taste, craftsmanship, and understatement. The shop captures his DNA, which in essence incarnates his vision of beauty. What is it that gives Italians the innate quality to do such wonderful things with leather?

Many have tried to imitate Italian leather techniques. No one has ever succeeded. It seems genetic. Unique leather treatment techniques are coupled to unalloyed craft of the highest caliber. Just touch a pair of Wanny’s driving shoes. The skin is soft and the patina is magic. Last time I was in town, I succumbed to pair in cognac. Although there are a multitude of color choices, the natural shades age best. They quickly take on your personality . So what is it that makes this brand so special?

bisonte_italian-leather-style

“When you are looking for something soft as butter…”

The secret lies in the use of natural vegetable-tanned cow-hide. The leather arrives at the store in the purest, palest tan. It darkens with time, sunlight and handling. Years ago, I asked Wanny why the bison logo. Here’s what he said:

“I’ve always been fascinated by the peace and strength bison convey. For centuries these animals were the very source of life for the people who roamed North America. Nowadays, it is a symbol that I proudly use to sign my product.”

These are the words of a true romantic. What I also admire about the man is his authenticity. The firm refuses to sell out in the old meaning of this term. Il Bisonte is infused with the idealism of the 1960s and 1970s. For lovers of all things preppy, you cannot go wrong here. There are no gaudy gold buckles or “in your face” logos on Il Bisonte products. Just outstanding quality and unique design.

Considering the times in which we live, the firm manages to perpetuate this legacy with sustainable growth. Although the articles are no longer made in their original workshop, they are still manufactured the old fashioned way in the Tuscan countryside.

The best term I can use to describe the house style is simplicity. The founder continues to work and takes real joy in shaping with his own hands the designs he conjures up each season. No wonder the store has such a cult following. Just ask one of the cognoscente to show you their bag or wallet.

Recently, I paid a visit to the store’s Paris branch, and I collared a catalog. You’ll never guess what? The catalog is in Japanese. It features the entire Bisonte range for both men and woman. The Japanese recognize great leather craft as easily as they can identify the freshest sashimi.

Since I am in the market for a briefcase, I found just what I was looking for and light as a feather. As the delightful sales woman and I spoke about the details, I could picture Wanny Di Filippo holding the bag himself sauntering around Florence. Perhaps this is also part of the brand’s allure. He is a complete original. This gentleman doesn’t just make leather goods. He is an artistic eccentric, who loves waistcoats, colorful scarves, and is not adverse to excellent cigars.

bisonte2_italian-style

“Home on the range…”

I totally appreciate why Wanny lives and creates in Italy. Here living well still resonates with the fervor that continues to give meaning to La Dolce Vita.

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Article Title: Because You’re Hell Bent On Leather
Photographs: (1) duchessdior (2)(3) Alessandro Moggi

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on art | style | design | culture | food | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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The Effervescence Of The French Touch

audrey_french-style

“Some claim the French Touch is in the tap water…”

I was invited to a charming bistro in a discreet Paris location to discuss The French Touch. At the table were a distinguished cast of cognoscente, whose names I am not at liberty to divulge.

Table talk centered on the essence of style over fashion, craftsmanship over mass production, i.e. made in ailleurs. There was the occasional chest beating and lament. Hey, Paris has a latin soul, but it was nothing a few cocktails couldn’t cure. The general consensus was that identifying The French Touch is like a sea dragon riding the wind.

These people I might add were not hide bound bores, but designers and players in the luxury sector. Off the record, one comment was: “Luxury brands like any other retailer deal in bottom lines. Fashion is a world driven by constant and persistent change.”

It is sometimes true that creatives try to cajole, persuade, and market their wares non-stop to an ever-fickle public looking for the next big thing. Where the concept of timelessness was once a by-word for quality, today luxury is the effervescence of shooting stars. Take a journey over to Louis Vuitton on the Champs-Elysees showcase, and engage with the current zeitgeist.

Although I have nothing against profitability, we must not confuse sales figures with taste or style. Real style is intangible and is intrinsic to a person’s persona. The concept of The French Touch is not any different. It is easy to identify, but quite difficult to replicate. It is as one lovely figure among us stated, “a state of mind”. The French actress, Marion Cotillion encapsulates the French touch to perfection in Woody Allen’s film, “Midnight In Paris”.

Just imagine you are dining with Lea Seydoux. She is sheepishly looking at you with those hypnotic eyes, and then says in that most Parisienne of voices: “Mon chou would you care to share a bottle of Foufoune“.

If this happens to you, you are done for. Cuite.

For those who aspire to capture this look, study Audrey Hepburn for guidelines. Although she was not French, she was not born in the States either. There was something quite mystical about her persona, which still captivates audiences. The term I would use to describe her is elegance. In her film with Fred Astaire, she causally remarks, “I am not beautiful; I have a funny face.” Ever the gentleman, Fred Astaire responded, “What you call funny, I call interesting.”

Audrey knew she had allure. Her clothes personified her character not the other way around. She was an ambassador for Hubert de Givenchy, and wore his clothes with panache. However, because her beauty was so natural, she was just as much at home in a pair of Levis. This is not just style but real class.

Three years ago, Ines de la Fressange published La Parisienne, and the book was an instant best seller in France. The book oozes with the style voice of one of Chanel’s former key models and taste trendsetters. Today, Ines is 50-something, and just as captivating as she was in her 20s. The book stands as a style guide to good taste for any contemporary woman, who wants to let loose her own version of The French Touch.

Visitors and designers alike claim that in this city men and women dress better than many other urban environments, and embody a certain je ne sais quoi. That “something” is well articulated in Ines book. It is also lovingly captured by the fashion photographer, Scott Schuman on his trend setting blog entitled, The Satorialist. Scott has the uncanny knack for capturing style across age groups. He demonstrates how personal and organic French style, really is. Every one can look great; it is a question of attitude, not money. His photographs make you drool. On his website, he features a whole ream of pictures taken in Paris, which give you a good feel for the French vibe.

I have another dear friend who claims that The French Touch is in the tap water. Drink the water at will he laughs and “voila”. Here, I am not so sure. The “Chateau Robinet 2014″ is barely drinkable. Perhaps, the water he was referring to, came from Reims in bottles, labelled, Bollinger. Baudelaire claimed that all French women had beautiful legs because they spent half their lives walking up and down countless flights of stairs.

weekend_french-style

“When stars get in your eyes…”

Someone remarked to me just the other day that everyone should have an uncle called “Christian”. It is true that Dior had certainly added to the modern vocabulary of contemporary woman. His feel for shape and color were unique. He knew how to drape fabric across a woman’s body, letting the woman’s body speak with its own voice, not necessarily calling attention to the clothes. Elegance is always a point of subtlety.

A contemporary style trend gathering more steam has been the craze for French vintage military field jackets, and those sailor’s shirts manufactured by St. James. The Lycée crowd has taken it up in spades, and it has spread to other circles throughout the heart of the BoBo-land. Designers have been borrowing concepts from vintage military clothing for ages; Jean-Paul Gautier is just one of the most successful.

Another key give away that your style code needs adjusting is when your clothes are too tight. This is not style, sorry. This is bad taste. Clothes should always be adjusted and be your size. Forget what the inner label says. Use a tape measure.

Want to laugh?

One of our global readers was recently asking what is the best colour for shirts. At first glance, I thought this was a philosophical question. I was about to consult my annotated copy of the Analects by Confucius, and caught myself saying, “Wait a second. Colour is personal”. The French like the Italians are fond of blue and white stripes of assorted versions. This design has a causal preppy style and can be worn with or without a tie. Speaking of ties, the bow tie has made a smashing comeback. This would have pleased my father no end. I find that bow ties are not only great in summer, but can also pass muster all year round. In case you would like to start fostering a collection, why not head over to Charvet near Place Vendome. Talk about the French Touch!

Article Title: Effervescence Of The French Touch
Photograph source: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results. You needn’t be half-baked or smoked, although we should all be living near Goldeneye in Jamaica.

If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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Applying to Fashion School

coney_fashion-school

“Everyone wishes they had an uncle named Giorgio…”

Experience has taught me that there isn’t a royal road if you plan to work in fashion, design, or style. The classic path is study at the best possible fashion school you can get admitted to. An alternative path is to choose an outstanding liberal arts education and pepper your studies with internships.

One of my favorites is the Giorgio Armani school of design. No folks, I am not making fun. Giorgio has no official school. What I mean is kick start your career the way he did: Be an apprentice to someone. Learn to sew, cut, and study design the old fashioned way.

No one can teach you good taste. For some it is innate, but even if you have talent in this direction, you need to nurture your abilities in the right environment. Creativity can be cultivated in a multitude of cross-disciplinary ways.

What a fashion school can provide is an aesthetic and intellectual environment to give you the tools and the community to grow your talent. Build a foundation in the fundamentals and learn the mechanics. More importantly, learn how to run a successful business. At some point, you will need to know about sourcing, manufacture, logistics, and the rest.

Finding the right school however, can be a difficult task. We’d like to help. So I had one of our guys draw up a list of the usual suspects, which you can consult on our blog under the title, Fashion School Rankings.

This list highlights more than classic design schools. At most of these institutions you can learn marketing, style, textiles, brand management as well as get a solid grounding in IT.

Methodology
Fashion School Rankings should just serve you as a list to start your investigation. We asked fashion people what they recommended. They responded that you should pay more attention to the application requirements, tuition costs, demographics and location. Not all schools are the same. So what’s the message: If you want to be in fashion, you will need skills, a powerful network and talent.

Tuition
Prices vary. Living in London, Paris or New York is a different kettle of fish than say studying in Helsinki.

How To Apply
Application requirements are similar. What you need is a stellar portfolio, High School diploma or Baccalaureate from a decent Lycée, letters of recommendation, and a powerful letter of motivation. Most programs are delivered in English, but not all.

Questions
If you have questions or need help with the details, drop us a line.
Contact Us: enquiries@whitefieldconsulting.com

Article Title: Applying To Fashion School
Photograph source: style-trumps-fashion

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on Talent Development | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Life & Career Coaching | MBA Admissions |

Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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